Barrett on ACA: ‘I am not hostile’ to the law

Federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett addressed questions about the ACA posed by Democrats during the second day of hearings for her Supreme Court confirmation, saying she is “not hostile” to the health law, according to NPR.

Like the previous day’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrats focused on the future of the ACA during the Oct. 13 testimony. Ms. Barrett’s confirmation hearing comes about a month before the Supreme Court is set to hear a case questioning the legality of the ACA. 

The White House argues the entire ACA is invalid because in December 2017, Congress eliminated the ACA’s tax penalty for failing to purchase health insurance. During the Oct. 13 hearings, Democrats asked Ms. Barrett if she had spoken with anyone about how she would rule on the ACA case. “Absolutely not,” she said, according to NPR. “I was never asked, and if I had been that would have been a short conversation.”

When Democrats asked Ms. Barrett about her critique of a 2012 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts that upheld the law, she told lawmakers, “I am not hostile to the ACA.”  She said the case the Supreme Court is set to hear Nov. 10 is different from the 2012 decision, which questioned the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The most recent case questions if the whole law should be struck down because the individual mandate is no longer intact.

She said “the issue in the case is this doctrine of severability, and that’s not something that I have ever talked about with respect to the Affordable Care Act. Honestly, I haven’t written anything about severability that I know of at all.”

For healthcare takeaways from the first day of hearings, click here.  

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